University of Wisconsin at La Crosse: Censorship of Student Magazine

Category: Free Speech
Schools: University of Wisconsin – La Crosse

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s (UW-L) Student Senate reversed its decision to limit the printing of a student magazine that the Senate deemed offensive. The magazine, titled The Second Supper Alternative News, wrote an article in its February 2006 issue titled “Cheney Kills Five Crips in Inner-City Hunting Accident.” The Senate passed a resolution stating that the Second Supper’s ”racist, sexist, homophobic, ablest (sic), anti-Semitists (sic) speech” would “threaten the recruitment and retention of students from underrepresented groups,” so it ordered the magazine to cut its distribution from 2,000 copies per issue to only 60–a 97% reduction. FIRE wrote UW-L Chancellor Douglas N. Hastad, reminding him of UW-L’s duty to uphold students’ First Amendment rights. The resolution was rescinded five days later.

  • The Second Supper’s distribution to remain in full

    May 1, 2006

    by Megan Keller The Racquet (UW–La Crosse) The UW-La Crosse Student Association withdrew its case against The Second Supper on Tuesday, April 18. After looking into the legalities of the situation, the Student Association decided not to pursue charges that would have dramatically limited The Second Supper’s on campus distribution. The ordeal started when The Second Supper printed an article that offended people of the UW-L community. The article that caused the controversy was “Cheney Kills Five Crips in Inner-City Hunting Accident” which used the “n” word. However, this was not just a campus issue. The Foundation for Individual Rights […]

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  • Satire back on track at UW-La Crosse

    April 24, 2006

    The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Student Association withdrew its resolution to limit the distribution of a satirical student publication last week following a controversy over First Amendment rights. “We were never trying to stifle First Amendment rights or stop The Second Supper Alternative News from distributing on campus,” Ryan Kockler and AJ Clauss, president and vice president of UW-L’s Student Association, said in a release. “Our concerns stem from the fact that we know that directly and indirectly students, faculty and staff have been hurt by the language the paper publishes.” The Second Supper has been under scrutiny since its […]

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  • Killa Satire

    April 24, 2006

    In its February 28 issue, the Second Supper Alternative News, a satirical student-run journal at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse (UW-L), published an article titled “Cheney Kills Five Crips in Inner-City Hunting Accident.” The piece poked fun at Vice President Dick Cheney after his recent hunting accident, depicting him as a would-be gang member and “stone cold killa.” The UW-L Student Association was so outraged by the article that it passed a resolution cutting Second Supper’s press run from 2,000 to 60 — in effect, a deathblow since the journal depends on outside advertising for its funds. The resolution […]

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  • Satire magazine avoids censorship by student government

    April 21, 2006

    WISCONSIN — Succumbing to pressure by student press advocates, the student government at a Wisconsin university said it would not attempt to limit the distribution of a campus satire magazine Wednesday. The Student Association Senate at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse reversed a resolution it passed on March 29 limiting the number of copies The Second Supper Alternative News was allowed to distribute on campus. The publication normally distributes 2,000 copies; the resolution would have reduced the number to 60. The resolution was in response to an article printed in the paper that parodied Vice President Dick Cheney’s […]

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  • Victory for Student Press Freedom at University of Wisconsin–La Crosse

    April 20, 2006

    LA CROSSE, Wis., April 20, 2006—The University of Wisconsin­­–La Crosse (UW-L) has reversed its decision to censor a satirical student magazine. UW-L’s student government had attempted to limit the printing of the magazine to just a few dozen copies in response to articles some deemed offensive. The magazine’s rights were restored less than a week after the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) intervened on its behalf. “Satire and parody are vital, effective, and very strongly protected forms of political speech. Unfortunately, they are under constant attack on today’s college campuses,” stated FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. “UW-L did the […]

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